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On the Way

On the Way

What’s Been Happening?

You may have been wondering what has been happening with regard to the Deanery Plan that was agreed by the Synod, back in June.The answer is quite a bit.The Archdeacon began conversations with our incumbent clergy, as a precursor to starting the formal process to realign and combine benefices into three groups – geographically North, Central and South. This culminated in a joint meeting of all the PCCs in the Deanery when she explained the formal process that now had to be followed. She also stressed that this is nothing to do with closing churches, as some people have feared.The next step is for each PCC to put forward two representatives to work with the others in their group to formulate a “Profile” – much in the way we had to do when recruiting for our recent vacancy.

Meanwhile a Deanery Implementation Team (DIT) has been appointed by the Synod to start working on other aspects of the Plan. This group (which includes myself) is currently meeting fortnightly. So people can follow progress, notes from the meetings will be on the Deanery website: https://sites.google.com/view/east-wivelshire-deanery/on-the-way

A first “sub-group” meeting has been held for Parish Treasurers.The main topic was the need for and likelihood of the Deanery being able to meet its Ministry and Mission Fund (MMF) target for 2022, as this underpins future sustainability and the release of Lowest Income Communities Funding, which is restricted to mission and other support in low income communities. MMF is paid by the parishes to the diocese as a contribution towards the cost of ministry – clergy stipends, pension and housing and various costs associated with Readers/Licensed Lay Ministers and PTO Clergy.We have a moral duty to pay this – it is not an “optional extra” item of expenditure!

Quite apart from underlying financial issues, and the need for us all to be generous in our giving, there are undeniably going to be challenges as we all look at new ways of working together and supporting each other in sharing the good news of our faith within our communities. Please continue to pray for the successful implementation of the Plan, and in particular for our clergy, for whom this is an unsettling time, and for our PCCs, the DIT and its subgroups. If you would like to do this with others, there is an online Diocesan Prayer Group onThursday mornings at 8.30 (Zoom Meeting ID 868 9605 6715 – P/W 933071) and a Deanery Prayer Group has recently started at 9am on Monday mornings (Meeting ID 252 179 2902 - P/W w0uL6Z).

For an overview of how On the Way is developing across the diocese, you may want to look at: https://trurodiocese.org.uk/resources/ministry/nextsteps-on-the-way/.There is a link to the Diocesan Prayer Group at the bottom of the page. Also, do feel free to contact me at any point if you would like more information. This is a project not just for the Deanery Synod, or the DIT, or our PCCs, or our clergy, but one for all of us!

Richard Margetts 01752 847044 [email protected]